Quantcast Steven Shea interview - HOODOO FOR VOODOO

Steven Shea!!!
We first talked briefly with Steven Shea after a panel for his upcoming film 'HOODOO FOR VOODOO' at a FANGORIA Weekend Of Horrors convention in NJ. The preview the audience were treated to proved that 'HOODOO FOR VOODOO' was meant to be a fun, entertaining flick. Hot Chicks? Voodoo curses? A little bit of blood? Debbie Rochon? Linnea Quigley? A few laughs? Did I mention the hot chicks? Jsyn gets the scoop. - by Jsyn. 1/06
What are some of your earliest recollections of the horror genre? What made you want to make movies?

As a child, I grew up being attracted like a moth to the flame to horror films. We used to stay up late and watch USA Up All Night or Tales From The Crypt. It wasn’t until high school where I realized that there was more to movies than just explosions and laughter. I had a realization of the artform involved, and that became very interesting.

Tell us a little about how you got started in the industry... Did you go to school for film? What were your first attempts at filmmaking like?
I began working at a TV station in Key West when I was 16 years old, as a camera operator. From there I went through Television Production in high school, making short films about sheep on fire and goofy little moments that entertained my friends. I went to college for film, but did not get accepted into the film schools. I continued to make shorts, until we decided to make one really long short, our first feature, The Night Owl.

Tell us about Abyssmal Entertainment. What prompted you to start the company? What do you hope to accomplish with it?

We incorporated Abyssmal in 2002, just 3 years after its conception. We are a fully functioning production house, offering camera, audio, lighting, editing packages, ect. We have been branching off lately, just finished producing a pilot for a new sketch comedy show, producing some original music for the Hoodoo For Voodoo soundtrack, a Night Owl comic book is in the works, and most recently we are doing some professional photography. It is my goal to be producing one to two feature films a year, and writing and directing one each year. We hope to eventually solidify a spot in the industry, and do this the rest of our lives.

What are some of the challenges you face as an indie filmmaker in Florida? What are some of the perks?

The biggest challenge personally, is the heat. We only get two months out of the year that are comfortable to shoot outdoors. The industry here is nonexistent. Many people believe that Florida is the next California, but with our Hurricane season, the extremely wet summers, and the minimal tax incentives, it’s not exactly a postcard of a production location. Luckily independent film thrives here, especially in Central Florida.
We have four film schools right next to each other, constantly pumping out new kids who want to get on set. This becomes helpful in grabbing crew members eager to work. The industry here is also a very small-town type atmosphere. Everybody knows everybody else. It makes networking a whole lot easier.

Tell us about Hoodoo For Voodoo. How did that movie come about? What were some of your experiences like making it?

We were wrapping up production for another feature I helped produce, Andre The Butcher (formerly known as Dead Meat), and I was ready for another project. I was born in Louisiana, and my Father had just moved back there. I visited, and was excited to remember how beautiful it is over there. The locations are fantastic, and I always shoot on Location. So I decided I wanted to make a film to be shot there.
We advertised looking for screenwriters around the country, and got about 15 different treatments written to our specifications. I was interested in only one. It was about a Voodoo Queen who runs a scam ritual. Similar to Leap Of Faith with Steve Martin, only with Voodoo. We had some crazy experiences, and it was shot over a period of tweleve days, eight in Louisiana and four in Florida. Long hours, no sleep, shooting all over the state. It was pretty incredible.
How did Tiffany Shepis and Debbie Rochon get involved in HOODOO FOR VOODOO?

We ended having issues with getting the proper make up for one of the harder death sequences in the film, and by the time we had gotten organized, the actress we had cast, moved on. So at the last minute, we re-casted with the most triumphant Tiffany Shepis, who came in and gave a stellar performance. Debbie stars in my Co-Producer Jason Liquori's Feature Length Short Compilation "DEATH PLOTS" (www.hocfocprod.com), and while she was nearby shooting that, we had her jump in for a hilarious cameo.

Tell us a little about Andre the Butcher and The Night Owl.

The Night Owl was our first attempt at feature film making. We made six short films back to back in 2001, and we decided we were ready to move on up. We wrote the script very simply (1 location, 4 actors) to make it very cheap and easy. When it was completed, it was picked up through Brain Damage Films and released in a 4 pack with 3 other movies titled Wicked Intentions. It was released in stores in July of 2005.
Andre The Butcher is a film I helped produce that was directed by Phil Cruz and James Hyde. I remember them casting, and the plot sounded most excellent, so I called them up to see if they could use any help. It shot for two weeks in an orange grove just outside of Lake Wales, Fl. It was picked up by ThinkFilm, and should be released early 2006.

Tell us about your charity work with Superior Mutts.

Superior Mutts is a local Orlando charity that rescues homeless animals. My co-producer on Hoodoo For Voodoo, Jason Liquori approached me about the potential of a charity calendar/poster featuring our Ladies on it. It was put together by Christopher Murphy over at Superior Mutts.

Do you have a "dream project"? Something you would love to make?

My dream project would probably be a script that I have been holding onto for a while called Fork Of Death. It is a story of a demonically possessed fork and the trouble that ensues when it is released on a shopping mall. Think The Mask with much more blood. There are lots of stories that we have that we would just need larger budgets for.

Whats up next for you and Abyssmal?

We are working on post production for Hoodoo For Voodoo right now, in Los Angeles and Orlando. Next we are planning to do a short Horror-Musical called, The Sound Of Screaming. And I am working on another feature length script for our next feature titled, The Bends. It’s a mixture of Lost and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I will also be producing a couple more films next year.

Awesome. What's your opinion on the independent horror scene?

I think it is definitely advancing faster than any other genre. You have independents like Lucky McGee and Dante Tomaselli moving up really fast, leading the way for many others. Not to mention the convention and internet capabilities. Independent directors have a huge market with the Internet, to be able to advertise and promote, all over the world without spending a dime. The Horror genre had always had a great following and very loyal and dedicated fans that refuse to let it die.

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